Imágenes de páginas

. iii. 2..

Thy kingdom come. THIS petition, or devout wish, being subordinate to the former, as expressing a main particular of that, which is there generally desired, (we here to the glory of God defiring a successful and speedy propagation of true religion,) seems, in its direct and immediate fense, to respect the state of things in that time, more especially befitting our Lord's disciples then, when the kingdom of God (that is, the state of religion under the evangelical dispensation) was coming and approaching ; (according to that of our Saviour in St. Luke; I say unto you of a truth, there be fome Luke ix. 27.

Matt. xvi. of you standing here that shall not taste death, till they fee 4.; the kingdom of God;) whence it did become them in zeal to God's glory, and charity for men's falvation, to desire that Christianity might foon effectually be propagated over the world, being generally entertained by men with due faith and obedience; that is, that all men willingly might acknowledge God as their Lord and Maker, worshipping and serving him in truth; that they might receive his blessed Son Jesus Christ as their King and Saviour, heartily embracing his doctrine, and humbly submitting to his laws: to which purpose our Lord enjoins his disciples to pray, that the Lord of the harvest would Mat. ix. 38. send labourers into his harvest; and St. Paul exhorts the Theffalonians to pray, that the word of the Lord may run a Theff. iii. and be glorified. And in parity of reason, upon the fame": grounds, we are concerned, and obliged to desire, that Christian religion may be settled and confirmed; may grow and be increased; may prosper and flourish in the world; that God's authority may, to the largest extension of place, to the highest intention of degree, universally and perfe&ly, be maintained and promoted, both in external profesfion and real effect; the minds of all men being subdued to the obedience of faith ; and avowing the subjection due to him; and truly yielding obedience to all his most just and holy laws. Thus should we pray that God's kingdom may come; particularly defiring that it may so come into our own hearts ; humbly imploring


his grace, that he thereby would rule in our hearts, quelling in them all exorbitant passions and vicious defires, protecting them from all fpiritual enemies, disposing

them to an entire subjection to his will, and a willing Luke xvii. compliance with all his commandments : a for this is the

kingdom of God, which, as our Lord telleth us, is within Rom. xiv. us; the which doth not, as St. Paul teacheth us, confist in

meat and drink, (in any outward formal performances,) but in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghoft;

that is, in obedience to God's will, and in the comfortable Mat. vi. 33. consequences thereof: this is the kingdom of God, which

we are enjoined, before any worldly accommodations, first to seek.


Thy WUill be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven.

THIS sentence is likewise complicated of praise, good defire, and petition; for we thereby first do acknowledge the wisdom, justice, and goodness of God in all resolutions of his will and dispensations of his providence.

1. We profess our approbation of all God's counsels, our complacence and satisfaction in all his proceedings, our cheerful submission and consent to all his pleasure;

joining our fuffrage, and saying in harmony with that Rev. XV. 3. blessed choir in the Revelation, Great and wonderful are

thy works, O Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, O thou King of Saints. We disclaim our own judgments and conceits, we renounce our own desires and defigns, so far as they appear inconsistent with the determi

nations of God's wisdom, or discordant with his pleasure; Luke xxii. saying after our Lord, Let not my will, but thine be done.

2. We do also express our desire, that as in heaven all things with a free and undisturbed course do pass accord. ing to God's will and good-liking, every intimation of his

pleasure finding there a most entire and ready compliance Pl. ciii. 20. from those perfe&tly loyal and pious spirits, (those ministers


to God's will and undisturbed cowhat as in heaven

Τυραννούμενοι υπο των του σώματος παθημάτων, και μυρίας σειρασμών δεχό μενοι προσβολές της του Θεού χρήζομεν βασιλείας, ίνα μη βασιλεύση ή αμαρτία εν τη Iunzã ampato npão, &c. Chryf.

of his, that do his pleasure, as the Psalmist calls them,) fo that here on earth the gracious designs of God may be accomplished without opposition or rub; that none should presume, as the Pharisees and Lawyers are said to do, Luke vii,

SETETV Thy Beanju Ocē, to disappoint or defeat God's 80 counsel; &twi£iodas, to thrust away or repulse God's word, as the Jews did in the Acts; to refift, provoke, or defy A&s xiii.46. God by obstinate disobedience, as many are said to do in the Scriptures; but that every where a free, humble, hearty, and full obedience be rendered to his commands.

3. We do also pray, that God would grant us the grace willingly to perform whatever he requires of us, (perfecting Heb. xiii. us, as the Apostle speaketh, in every good work to do his. will, and working in us that which is well-pleaħng in his hght,) contentedly to bear whatever he layeth upon us; that God would bestow upon us a perfect refignation of Phil, iv. 11. our wills unto his will; a cheerful acquiescence in that state and station wherein he hath placed us; a fubmifs patience in all adversities, whereinto he disposeth us to fall; a constant readiness with satisfaction and thankfulness (without reluctancy or repining) to receive whatever cometh from his will, whether grateful or distasteful to our present sense; acknowledging his wisdom, his goodness, his justice. in all his dealings towards us'; heartily saying with good Eli, It is the Lord, let him do what 1 Sam. iii. feemeth him good; with Hezekiah, Good is the word of * the Lord which thou hast Spoken; with David, Behold, 19. here I am; let him do to me as seemeth good to him ;' with 26. Job, Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall Job ii. 10. we not receive evil ? and, The Lord gave, and the Lord PC. xxxvii. hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord : yea, it 5. lv. 22. were well, if we could, after the heathen philosopher, Epict. upon all occafions with our hearts fay, εί ταύτη Θεώ φίλον,

puur, Plat.Criton. Taúry yevéo lw. If God will have it fo, fo let it be: if we could observe thofe rules and precepts, which even the Philosophers so much inculcateb; to commit all our affairs

2 Sam. xv.

,i. 21.

ch. 38.

και το υπόλοιπον τύ βία διέξελθε, ως Θεοίς επισιστροφως τα σιαυτ πάντα, &c. Ant, iv. 31. 'Arrasóusvos tà rup Czivota. Ani. iii. 4, 16. ii. 17. x. 11. xii. 1. Ant. vii. 31. X. 11. Sen, De Or. Sap. 32. Ego secundum naturam vivo, fi

to God, to love and embrace (hug) all events; to follow, and to accompany God; to yield, deliver, and refign ourselves up to him; (Deo fe præbere, dedere, tradere, &c.} and the like.

Give us this Dap our daily Bread.

I SHALL not stand to criticize upon the hard word here used, translated daily; I only say, that of two fenfes offering themselves, both are probable, and by good authority countenanced; both are proper and suitable to

the matter or nature of the thing: according to one, we "Aprovisió- pray for the bread rõ ÉTIÓVTOS, of the time to come, or of

vor, soutío- that future life, which it shall please God to allow us; τιν ίσι την Briar si sá- according to the other, we request bread éxi Tò elvai, Gaivorta, xal

s daar, which is necessary for our being, and the preservation of evyrgotnous our lives; joining both together, (which is more fure and ταύτην δυνάς

svor. "Chror. fafe,) we pray for a competent provision toward the tom. v. 187. maintenance of our life hereafter, during our appointed

time : that for the sense: upon the petition itself we observe,

1. That after we have rendered our due tribute of praise and respect unto God, we are allowed and directed to request of him good things for ourselves; beginning, as nature prompteth, with the preservation of our beings and lives; whereby we become capable of receiving and enjoying other good things ;

2. By doing which we also do imply the sense we have of our total dependence upon God; avowing ourselves to subfift by his care and bounty; disclaiming consequently all confidence in any other means to maintain or support us; in any store we have laid up, or estate we pretend to; in any contrivance or industry we can use; in any succour of friends or relations; for that, notwithstanding all these, we do need our daily bread to be dealt to us by God, and must continually beg it as a gift from his hands.

totum me illi dedo. Optimum eft Deum, quo auctore cun&a proveniunt fine murmuratione comitari, &c.-hic eft magnus animus, qui fe Deo trddidit Sen. Ep. 37, 54, 71, &c. De Prov. 5.

3. We are by that word, oýuepov, this day, taught our duty (fignifying withal our performance thereof) of being willing continually to rely upon God; not affecting to be ever so much beforehand, as not to need God's constant assistance: we ask not, that God would give us at once what may serve us for ever, and may put us out of any fear to want hereafter; we ask not for that which may suffice for a long time, for many years, many months, many days; but that God would give us to-day, or rather day by day; (rò xod' inuépav, as it is expressed in St. Luke zi. 30 Luke;) that is, that he would continually dispense to us what is needful for us : we should not therefore desire to have an estate settled upon us; to live by ourselves, or on our own incomes; to be set out of God's house, or immediate protection and care; this in itself cannot be, (for God cannot alienate his goods from himself, nor can we fubfift out of his hand,) nor must we defire it should be: it is a part of atheism, or infidelity, of heathenish profaneness and folly, to defire it, (these things, faith our Lord, do Mat. vi. 32. the Gentiles seek; that is, they are covetous of wealth, and careful for provisions, to live without dependence upon God;) but we must esteem God's providence our surest estate, God's bounty our best treasure, God's fatherly care our most certain and most comfortable support; casting all our care on him, as being assured that Mat. vi. 25. he careth for us; will not leave nor forsake us; will not Heb.zji.'s.

Ime i Pet. v. 7. withhold what is necessary for our comfortable fufte- Phil. iv. 6. nance. .

4. It is here intimated, how sober and moderate our appetites should be, in regard both to the quality and quantity of the things we use: we are directed to ask spopov, oú spuony, as St. Chryfoftom says, necessary food, not luxurious plenty or delicacy: it is bread, (the most fimple, homely, and common diet ;) that is, such accommodations as are necessary to maintain our lives, and fatisfy our natural desires; not fuperfluities, serving to please our wanton appetites, or humour' our curious fancies; it is not variety, daintiness, elegancy, or splendour, we should affect to enjoy, but be content to have our

« AnteriorContinuar »